Explains that fast‐track programmes have traditionally been the preferred mechanism for recruiting and developing high potential graduates to become the senior management cadre of the future. However, many recent changes within organizations have led to more fluid structures that no longer support traditional hierarchical career progression opportunities. Presents a qualitative study of 20 major fast‐track recruiters which was designed to explore the philosophies, strategies, and human resource management policies and practices used to manage the careers of the fast‐track population, within the current context. Demonstrates that for many organizations, owing to internal and external changes, there has been a shift in career philosophy. Organizations are revising their career management policies and practices, to reflect the “new deal” offered to fast‐track graduates. Highlights some apparent paradoxes between organizations’ career philosophies, policies and practices and the fast‐track philosophy.
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